“We have long been a supporter of your country and have great hopes and expectations for it. You have a clear vision for the country. A new Country Strategy Paper was approved, defining our new collaboration. Together we will focus on agriculture, the blue economy, employment for women and youth, and the financial sector,” Adesina, said.
“I will do everything possible to make our partnership better than ever. I will make sure that our country maintains its current performance,” Carvalho said.
Adesina visited International Center for Tropical Agriculture and the Advanced Agro-Pastoral Training Center established in the first phase of the Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Food Security Support Project.
The International Center for Tropical Agriculture, which oversees phytosanitary inspections, received US$5mn from the African Development Fund (ADF) for rehabilitation, lab equipment and staff training.
“The technical and financial support we have received allows us to help 1,586 maize farmers today,” Paquete Idalina, an entomologist at the centre, said.
The Advanced Agro-Pastoral Training Center is the only facility in the island nation which provides technical training in agriculture and promotes agricultural entrepreneurship.
The centre received US$47.19mn in funding from the ADF, helping it increase the number of students from other parts of the island.
“Agriculture must be seen as a business, a source of wealth. I encourage you to become entrepreneurs to contribute to wealth creation in your country,” Adesina, said.
The second phase of the Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Food Security Support Project is aimed at promoting fishing and farm infrastructure for production, storage, processing and distribution.
The project is expected to boost food production for local consumption from agriculture and fishing.
According to a statement from the AfDB, agricultural products for the local market are expected to increase from an average of 58,000 tonnes in 2009-2011 to 75,000 tonnes in 2020.
Fishing products are expected to grow from an average of 4,800 tonnes in 2009-2011 to 6,200 tonnes in 2020.
Local products are expected to form a larger percentage of the food supply, up to 75 per cent in 2020, from 58 per cent in 2012.
“You are the future leaders of this country. You must release the potential of São Tomé and Príncipe by aiming high, by keeping abreast of labour market needs and by preparing for the careers of the future,” Adesina, said, at the Higher Polytechnic Institute of São Tomé.